Search found 249 matches

by jjbiv
Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Traveling overseas .. credit cards? cash exchange?
Replies: 43
Views: 2804

Re: Traveling overseas .. credit cards? cash exchange?

I am exploring best options for using cash, credit cards, and/or debit cards overseas. All the credit cards I have include a 3% fee on international transactions. Just as a reality check: if you spend $1,000 then the international transaction fees will come to $30, which is probably less than a sin...
by jjbiv
Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: journaling with Office 365 online hosted exchange
Replies: 4
Views: 411

Re: journaling with Office 365 online hosted exchange

Commvault works well for journaling Exchange and O365 messages but it does require some infrastructure components which may be more than you’re looking for if journaling email is your only use case.
by jjbiv
Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards
Replies: 469
Views: 102060

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

No, there is no bonus on top of the BoA deals offers.
by jjbiv
Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards
Replies: 469
Views: 102060

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

Yes, you can setup an automatic payment for the account balance. However, you need to sign up for ebills first and wait until you receive the first bill electronically. Then you can create the automatic payment to pay future statements. It’s a little clunky but works once it it is setup.
by jjbiv
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to research specific optometrists?
Replies: 8
Views: 857

Re: How to research specific optometrists?

See if you have an optometry school near you. I’ve found the services to be very high quality and include a built-in quality control mechanism as the doctor checks the student’s work. The downside is it can take longer than a standard appointment but the exams have been very thorough.
by jjbiv
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards
Replies: 469
Views: 102060

Re: Bank of America/Merrill Edge - Preferred Rewards

The answer depends on which card you have. The cash rewards card applies the bonus when you redeem the points so you can earn points now and wait to redeem them until you have platinum honors status. The travel rewards card accrues points with each purchase so you might want to wait until you have s...
by jjbiv
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lost about $100 due to shipping issue?
Replies: 24
Views: 2208

Re: Lost about $100 due to shipping issue?

Track the item with UPS and see if they picked it up from the Postal Service.
by jjbiv
Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saga of the travels of a US Postal Service Shipment
Replies: 9
Views: 1692

Re: Saga of the travels of a US Postal Service Shipment

What USPS service level was this package shipped with? I’m guessing it is not First Class or Priority Mail based on the tracking information provided. Nothing is impossible this time of the year but the lesser USPS services can be delayed more than normal due to the huge increase in volume. Priority...
by jjbiv
Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Inexpensive way to ship heavy item...
Replies: 23
Views: 2249

Re: Inexpensive way to ship heavy item...

For an item that heavy, your best bet for address-to-address service is an LTL (Less Than Truckload) carrier like FedEx Freight (different from the more familiar FedEx Express and Ground), UPS Freight, or others. Sometimes there are less expensive lesser known regional carriers too. Will the shipper...
by jjbiv
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Price of haircut?
Replies: 194
Views: 13993

Re: Price of haircut?

$6 plus tip at a barber school
by jjbiv
Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frontier Flight Fees
Replies: 17
Views: 1614

Re: Frontier Flight Fees

I’ve flown on Frontier (and other similar airlines around the world) with no issues. The key is to do your homework and know what to expect before you get to the airport. Know the airline’s baggage policy (which for Frontier is one free personal item about the size of a backpack as a carryon) and pu...
by jjbiv
Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fixing Slow Drains
Replies: 40
Views: 4255

Re: Fixing Slow Drains

Plain ol' bleach. Pour it down the drain and let it sit for a bit.
by jjbiv
Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual Citizenship (USA/Portugal); Obtaining a Portuguese Passport
Replies: 10
Views: 2246

Re: Dual Citizenship (USA/Portugal); Obtaining a Portuguese Passport

Note that you and your wife need to be able to prove good knowledge of Portuguese for this plan to work. Your wife will also need to prove she is linked to the Portuguese community, has visited the country, etc. The nearest Portuguese consulate would be a good place to start. Here are a few links fr...
by jjbiv
Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you file your taxes with Credit Karma?
Replies: 14
Views: 1859

Re: Did you file your taxes with Credit Karma?

I used FreeTaxUSA instead for the federal return and am very satisfied.
by jjbiv
Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need title insurance?
Replies: 43
Views: 4605

Re: Do I need title insurance?

It is a huge rip off especially in some states like Texas where rates and minimum service levels are regulated which vastly inflates the price we pay for this service. Iowa has a much more sensible state-run title insurance program which also happens to be much less expensive.
by jjbiv
Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon free shipment down to $35
Replies: 16
Views: 3441

Re: Amazon free shipment down to $35

Amazon has reduced the minimum purchase qualifying for a free shipment from $49 to $35. According to https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=mk_sss_hucart/ref=ord_cart_shr?nodeId=527692 : Order with Free Shipping by Amazon All orders of $35 or more of eligible items across any prod...
by jjbiv
Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Making prints from iPhone photos
Replies: 12
Views: 1473

Re: Making prints from iPhone photos

Walmart.com. Upload photos online and pick them up at a store or they will mail them to you.
by jjbiv
Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Banking ATM card with no international ATM fees and foreign exchange fees
Replies: 16
Views: 3709

Re: Banking ATM card with no international ATM fees and foreign exchange fees

SalemFiveDirect.com is the online division of a brick and mortar bank in Massachusetts. I have used them for years with no issues, no fees, and they reimburse ATM owner fees up to $15/month. Does anyone know of a similar account that comes with a MasterCard branded debit/ATM card? Or at least NOT a ...
by jjbiv
Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roto-molded cooler suggestions, like Yeti
Replies: 20
Views: 2990

Re: Roto-molded cooler suggestions, like Yeti

WalMart's Ozark Trail store brand has some very nice and reasonably priced molded coolers as well as stainless steel vacuum insulated tumblers. They don't come with a sticker, though.
by jjbiv
Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Scottrade Bank Q's
Replies: 5
Views: 702

Re: Scottrade Bank Q's

They closed my Scottrade Bank account because I didn't keep enough in it and was just using it for ACH withdrawals. So your mileage may vary when using this approach. What is up with Scottrade not having native ACH pish/pull capabilities from brokerage account anyway? Even Trade King can do this. Sc...
by jjbiv
Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No Vanguard Customer Support on weekends
Replies: 55
Views: 7005

Re: No Vanguard Customer Support on weekends

I'm curious what is so urgent that it must be done on a weekend, since all markets are closed. Yeah really! And why have support open in the evenings after markets are closed???? Seriously though, isn't there anyone in your family who leaves for work before 8am and gets back after 10pm M-F except f...
by jjbiv
Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Domestic Overnight Letter
Replies: 13
Views: 1865

Re: Domestic Overnight Letter

I'm not all that familiar with the USPS rate structure, but a USPS overnight letter (Priority Mail Express, delivery before 10:30 AM) is listed @ $22.95. Large companies probably have a contract with UPS or FedEx Express & pay $5 or $6 for this same service depending on the origin/destination. Ther...
by jjbiv
Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Domestic Overnight Letter
Replies: 13
Views: 1865

Re: Domestic Overnight Letter

USPS Priority is fine. FedEx provides the linehaul airport-to-airport transportation for Priority Mail. USPS handles sorting and the last mile of the delivery. I'm surprised that FedEx is significantly more than UPS. Their rates are usually very competitive. FedEx has about 5 levels of overnight se...
by jjbiv
Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Domestic Overnight Letter
Replies: 13
Views: 1865

Re: Domestic Overnight Letter

USPS Priority is fine. FedEx provides the linehaul airport-to-airport transportation for Priority Mail. USPS handles sorting and the last mile of the delivery. I'm surprised that FedEx is significantly more than UPS. Their rates are usually very competitive.
by jjbiv
Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not happy with my realtor
Replies: 48
Views: 5409

Re: Not happy with my realtor

Absent more details, ask him to provide the services you need and make it clear where his performance has not been satisfactory. Realtors are sales people first and foremost. They are never really "on your side" unless what you are looking for is a quick commission for them. There is a fundamental m...
by jjbiv
Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Casio G Shock radio wave solar watches
Replies: 11
Views: 2238

Re: Casio G Shock radio wave solar watches

Wearing a Casio G-Shock model 2688 (GW-330A) right now and it is a great watch. It does have some significant height to it so make sure you are okay with that on your wrist, especially if you wear long sleeve shirts. Watch and band have held up great as has the battery and atomic clock synchronizati...
by jjbiv
Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I consolidate Vanguard to Merrill Edge?
Replies: 25
Views: 3485

Re: Should I consolidate Vanguard to Merrill Edge?

You might want to post the fund options in your 401k with ML so we can check those out, too.
by jjbiv
Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MegaCorp Payroll - Two Years Of FICA-Taxing HSA Contributions
Replies: 6
Views: 751

Re: MegaCorp Payroll - Two Years Of FICA-Taxing HSA Contributions

It is in everyone's interest (except perhaps payroll) to fix this. You should consider politely escalating the issue. Out of curiosity, does your company do its own payroll or use a service provider like ADP?
by jjbiv
Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card
Replies: 278
Views: 53464

Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Bank of America has a 2.625% cash back rate on their travel rewards card if you qualify for platinum preferred honors. You can qualify for this by moving 100k worth of shares to Merril Edge. There are also higher cash back rates available in specific spending categories.
by jjbiv
Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where/how do Bogleheads get their tires inflated?
Replies: 97
Views: 8885

Re: Where/how do Bogleheads get their tires inflated?

Mostly my tires hold pressure for the time between service visits. Otherwise, I either pay the $1.50 at a gas station or else go to Discount Tire for free air check. Almost no "free air" at any of the gas stations here in mid-Michigan. Belle Tire is a good place to get air checks in Michigan. They ...
by jjbiv
Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comcast incorrectly told us there was an internet line - now what? - solved
Replies: 47
Views: 4068

Re: Comcast incorrectly told us there was an internet line - now what?

The easiest way to handle this type of situation is to not buy a house until your preferred Internet service is installed there (either in the seller's name or your name). At this point, however, I'd negotiate with Comcast. Their estimate might be highly inflated to ensure there are no surprise cost...
by jjbiv
Thu Sep 15, 2016 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tenant wants to leave on short notice. Can they?
Replies: 45
Views: 5709

Re: Need help interpreting condo lease for tenant leaving on short notice.

Sounds like they're clear to leave. I watched Perry Mason which indicates my level of expertise. I saw that episode, too. Maybe we can start a law firm? OP - have they otherwise been stellar tenants? Why not simply let them go and start looking for a new tenant? +1 Unless you enjoy misery, be a gen...
by jjbiv
Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hacked (at outraged) at Verizon
Replies: 31
Views: 7342

Re: Hacked (at outraged) at Verizon

Leeraar, there was a lawsuit filed by the daughters of a Pennsylvania man whose wife couldn't call out from their Verizon phone because identity thieves hijacked the account, which switched off the wife's phone, while the husband had a heart attack. The identity thieves imitated the Pennsylvania wo...
by jjbiv
Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2924
Views: 577025

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Oh well! The branch told her she'd have it in 5-7 days. I will post when we get it to see if they're true to their word. I don't think you will have to wait too long. I applied in person on monday afternoon, and just received the CSR card today at noon by UPS Express. Applied online on Tuesday and ...
by jjbiv
Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Selling vested RSUs question
Replies: 5
Views: 650

Re: Selling vested RSUs question

Have you made a cost basis election in your Fidelity account? I believe you need to use the specific lot identification method to accomplish what you propose. If you can manually update the cost basis for your shares before selling them, that would probably make your life easier come tax time since ...
by jjbiv
Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity Rewards Visa 2% cash back
Replies: 73
Views: 12872

Re: Fidelity Rewards Visa 2% cash back

It is great as a primary card for most people. If BoA is your primary bank and you can park $200k with them in a brokerage or savings, the BoA visa may be better. I used the Elan Fidelity 2% Visa as my primary before the BoA/Merrill Edge Visa. If you have 200k in holdings (could just be index funds...
by jjbiv
Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone have the BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card?
Replies: 14
Views: 1649

Re: Anyone have the BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card?

MasterCard has had a slightly better exchange rate when I have checked but the rewards with this credit card (especially if you have Platinum Honors status with BofA) make it a better net deal. Platinum Honors is achievable by having $100k in Vanguard funds at Merrill Edge.
by jjbiv
Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any benefit to investing in Vanguard ETFs via Vanguard?
Replies: 11
Views: 1225

Re: Any benefit to investing in Vanguard ETFs via Vanguard?

There is no charge to transfer assets (in kind) out of Vanguard to another broker. That is not true for Merril or Fidelity. You could sell securities and transfer cash but, if this is a taxable account, so doing could lead to capital gains and tax on those gains.
by jjbiv
Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: asking for a higher hourly rate after interview
Replies: 30
Views: 3354

Re: asking for a higher hourly rate after interview

This question demonstrates the danger of talking about a specific rate of pay before there is mutual interest in moving forward. If you think you need more money to proceed, ask for it. You are not bound by your pre-interview statements regarding rate of pay; although it is best to avoid making such...
by jjbiv
Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Savings Gap Between Women and Men: What Is Your Plan?
Replies: 46
Views: 5053

Re: The Savings Gap Between Women and Men: What Is Your Plan?

Now my spouse is going back to school and I currently make more than my spouse, but that might even out a few years into their career (or it might not) I think it has an effect on my spouse, so I plan to have them max out their 401k once they get their first job in their new career, while I will ke...
by jjbiv
Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Co Equipment or After Market?
Replies: 11
Views: 1073

Re: Auto Co Equipment or After Market?

Gmpartsdirect.com is a good source for OEM GM parts at reasonable prices for repairs where time is not of the essence (parts can take a week or so to arrive.)
by jjbiv
Tue Jul 12, 2016 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax Preparation--Anyone try this as second income
Replies: 40
Views: 6678

Re: Tax Preparation--Anyone try this as second income

+1 to doing taxes as a VITA or TCE program volunteer. It is a great way to serve the community and in my case also brush up on Spanish skills based on where I chose to volunteer. It is very humbling and inspiring to get to know taxpayers and their often meager financial and sometimes troubling legal...
by jjbiv
Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Favorite Factory Tours?
Replies: 70
Views: 6659

Re: Your Favorite Factory Tours?

FedEx Express air hub in Memphis

The "technical" tours arranged by professional societies or university groups are much better than the open-to-the-public tours.
by jjbiv
Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: summer weight dress shirts (BrooksCool or alternatives)
Replies: 1
Views: 362

Re: summer weight dress shirts (BrooksCool or alternatives)

A bump from someone who is almost always too warm in Brooks Brothers' standard shirts in San Antonio.
by jjbiv
Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I subtract UNsold ESPPs from my ordinary income?
Replies: 14
Views: 1339

Re: Can I subtract UNsold ESPPs from my ordinary income?

In you example, the $8.50 is already in your wages because you use after-tax dollars to purchase ESPP shares. The only new income is the discount ($1.50). I don't think it is a good idea to self-adjust the numbers reported on your W2 unless that is the only option. Try to get a corrected W2. You can...
by jjbiv
Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I subtract UNsold ESPPs from my ordinary income?
Replies: 14
Views: 1339

Re: Can I subtract UNsold ESPPs from my ordinary income?

Sorry,I read the original post too quickly and answered in haste. If you have not sold any ESPP shares I would ask your HR folks why they have included W2 income for the ESPP discount. This is not taxable until you dispose of the shares. Are the shares still in the ESPP account with your employer's ...
by jjbiv
Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I subtract UNsold ESPPs from my ordinary income?
Replies: 14
Views: 1339

Re: Can I subtract UNsold ESPPs from my ordinary income?

When did the grants you received vest? The portion that vested during 2015 is 2015 income. You do not get to choose when to recognize this income.
by jjbiv
Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you take a part time job for discounted travel?
Replies: 17
Views: 1714

Re: Would you take a part time job for discounted travel?

Only if you would enjoy the job. Don't do it just for the discount. Time is the most valuable resource at this point in your life.
by jjbiv
Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obtaining Pesos in Mexico
Replies: 16
Views: 1931

Re: Obtaining Pesos in Mexico

The best option I found in Mexico was using HSBC ATMs to withdrawal 15,000 pesos per transaction, which was the maximum amount allowed at the ATMs we visited. My bank reimburses the ATM fees up to $15 per month so this was adequate for my needs. The fee for each transaction was less than $2. I had m...